Friday, 20 May 2011

Hasta la victoria siempre

A couple of days ago I was asked to write about the currents events in Spain. Here’s that post, a couple of days late because that’s how long it took me to figure out how to put my thoughts on paper.

In the past week or so, there have been several demonstrations all over Spain. People, being fed up with the current situation and corrupted politicians, are demanding “real democracy”. Among other things, the demonstrators ask for a fairer electoral system, something that the two main parties seem to be opposed to. Regional elections are held on Sunday, and apparently any demonstration planned for Saturday has been banned by the state’s Central Electoral Board.

The main Spanish newspaper, El Pais, has  interesting articles on the subject, they can be found here.

This post was going to be about my impressions regarding these events, described by some as a “revolution”, so here we go:

  • A friend once told me: “ it’s difficult to think that Spanish people might be going through a tough time right now. Spain is palm trees and beaches, good food and party. It’s got nothing to do with economic disasters, mass unemployment and low wages”. Spain is often viewed as some kind of huge hotel resort, but the truth is that, right now, life is very difficult for a lot of people in Spain.  
  • It is impressive to see so many people gathering together for a common cause. It must be emphasized that the protestors have been acting intelligently: instead of just “fighting the system” and focusing solely on the problem, they have been able to provide plausible solutions as well.
  • I have personally not noticed any political polarization among people. That is very good, because when that polarization starts taking place, society will start going downhill.
  • As so often happens, there are people who have been quick to judge the protestors as anti-system communists. However, to me it seems that the ones protesting represent various ideologies (if any) and that the main point is to improve the system, not abolish it.
  • Unfortunately there seems to be  a great divide between those who actively seek change and the ones who don’t even know what’s going on. Social media have proven to be a great tool for this movement, but it might benefit from other ways of reaching out to more people.


Tomorrow and Sunday will be interesting days in Spain, so if you’re into politics or a  fan of Spain, stay tuned!

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